Keto Diet Food List (+ Free PDF): What to Eat and Avoid - Perfect Keto

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Keto Diet Food List: What to Eat and What to Avoid on Keto

Disclaimer

Let’s be real: there’s a lot of stuff you can’t eat on keto.

But we always like to look at the positives, and — on that note — there’s also a lot of delicious food you can eat on keto.

We’ve compiled nearly all the keto-friendly pantry essentials you can enjoy right here. You can use this list to guide your grocery shopping and meal planning while on keto.

For your reference, we’ve also included a handy list of foods to avoid. Be sure to enter your email below, and we’ll send a clean, printable copy to your inbox.

How to Count Carbs on Keto

In addition to having a food list handy, it’s a good idea to know how to calculate carbs for any food. That way, you can make decisions about foods that may not be on this list.

To check a carb count, you’ll need to locate the Nutrition Facts label on a package of food. It’s usually on the back or side. From there, you’ll need to make note of a few things detailed on that label:

  • Serving size
  • Servings per container
  • Total carbohydrates
  • Dietary fiber
  • Sugar alcohols

Here’s how to calculate net carbs, which are the carbs that impact your blood sugar levels (and the type of carbs most people on keto choose to count, rather than total carbs):

  1. Subtract dietary fiber and sugar alcohols from total carbohydrates.
  2. Be sure to stick to the serving size detailed on the label when you eat the food.
  3. If you eat multiple servings, multiply the net carb count by how many servings you ate to determine how many net carbs you consumed. If you ate the entire package, multiply the net carb count for one serving by the servings per container.
How to Count Carbs on Keto

Foods You Can Eat On a Keto Diet

Here’s a list of foods to eat on keto, along with their net carb count for a specified serving size. All nutrition information comes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central, unless otherwise specified (*).

Meat

Most plain meats are keto-friendly foods, and completely carb-free.

  • Beef: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Pork: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Chicken: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Turkey: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Duck: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Lamb: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Eggs: less than 1 gram per large egg

Vegetables

Many vegetables are low in carbs and can therefore be part of a keto diet. Generally, you’ll only need to avoid root vegetables and corn.

  • Avocado: 3 grams per medium avocado
  • Asparagus: 2 grams per cup
  • Okra: 4 grams per half cup
  • Green beans: 4 grams per cup
  • Greens: 1 gram per cup
  • Lettuce: 1 gram per cup
  • Mushrooms: 2 grams per cup
  • Kale: less than 1 gram per cup
  • Cauliflower: 3 grams per cup
  • Celery: 2 grams per cup
  • Tomatoes: 5 grams per cup
  • Bok choy: 1 gram per cup
  • Cabbage: 3 grams per cup
  • Spinach: less than 1 gram per cup
  • Zucchini: 3 grams per cup
  • Yellow squash: 3 grams per cup
  • Cucumbers: 3 grams per cup
  • Garlic: less than 1 gram per clove
  • Broccoli: 4 grams per cup
  • Bell peppers: 5 grams per cup
  • Hot peppers: 1 gram per pepper

Fruits

Unfortunately, most fruits are too high in carbs for keto. Berries are the exception.

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  • Strawberries: 4 grams per half cup
  • Raspberries: 5 grams per half cup
  • Blackberries: 4 grams per half cup

Seafood

Like meats, plain seafood is naturally keto-friendly.

  • Shrimp: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Crab: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Lobster: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Salmon: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Tuna: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Cod: 0 grams per 3 ounces
  • Tilapia: 0 grams per 3 ounces

Dairy

Some full-fat dairy products can be part of a keto diet, but others are too high in naturally-occurring milk sugar.

  • Heavy cream: 1 gram per ounce
  • Half and half: 1 gram per ounce
  • Sour cream: 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Cream cheese: 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Cheese: 1 gram per ounce

Nuts & Seeds

Most nuts and seeds are keto, but just know they’re very high in calories — which can sabotage you if you’re trying to lose weight.

  • Almonds: 3 grams per ounce
  • Peanuts: 4 grams per ounce
  • Flax seeds: less than 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Chia seeds: less than 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Walnuts: 2 grams per ounce
  • Pecans: 1 gram per ounce
  • Sesame seeds: less than 1 gram per ounce
  • Hazelnuts: 2 grams per ounce
  • Sunflower seeds: 4 grams per ounce
  • Macadamia nuts: 2 grams per ounce

Sauces, Fats, and Oils

For the most part, these are all keto-friendly. However, for optimal health, it’s best to avoid highly-refined seed oils like soybean oil, corn oil, and canola oil as much as possible.

  • Butter: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Ghee: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Avocado oil: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Olive oil: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Coconut oil: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Tallow: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Lard: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Bacon fat: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Creamy salad dressings (like ranch): 2 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Hollandaise sauce: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Bearnaise sauce: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Buffalo sauce: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons

Baked Goods

Generally, baked goods aren’t keto-friendly. However, there’s now a huge market for keto products and you may be able to find keto cakes, cookies, pastries, and breads that are low in net carbs.

Even if they’re labeled “keto,” though, it’s important to check the Nutrition Facts panel and the ingredient list to ensure that these foods are a good fit for your needs.

Spices & Herbs

Most spices and herbs are keto, especially since they’re typically used only in small quantities.

  • Salt: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Pepper: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Thyme: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Turmeric: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Celery seed: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Chili powder: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Ginger: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Lemon grass: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Oregano: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Cilantro: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Pepper flakes: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Cinnamon: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Paprika: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Cumin: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Fennel: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Dill: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Parsley: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Sage: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Rosemary: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Bay leaf: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Cayenne: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Basil: 0 grams per teaspoon

Sweeteners

While sugar is off the table on keto, there are several alternative sweeteners that are zero-calorie and zero-carb.

  • Allulose: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Erythritol: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Stevia: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Monk fruit: 0 grams per teaspoon

Beverages

For the most part, sugary drinks like fruit juice, milk, sugar-sweetened sodas, and other sugary drinks like tea or punch are the only beverages off-limits on keto.

  • Diet sodas: 0 grams per can (however, many of these are made with artificial sweeteners)
  • Sparkling water: 0 grams per cup
  • Unsweetened tea: 0 grams per cup
  • Coffee: less than 1 gram per cup
  • Water: 0 grams per cup
  • Unsweetened plant-based milk alternatives: 1-5 grams per cup

Condiments

Condiments and sauces can be a sneaky source of hidden sugars, but the ones listed below are usually fine for keto.

  • Mayonnaise: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Pickles: 1 gram per half cup
  • Mustard: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Hot sauce: 0 grams per teaspoon

Miscellaneous

Here are some other keto-friendly foods that don’t fit neatly into any other categories. As a reminder, for many of these products there can be variations in carb content between brands and flavors, so always verify its keto-friendly status using the Nutrition Facts panel.

  • Vinegar: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Bone broth: 5 grams per cup
  • Extra-dark chocolate: 5 grams per half an ounce
  • Protein powder: 1-3 grams per scoop

Foods to Avoid on a Keto Diet

Here are the foods that you need to strictly avoid on keto because of their high carb content.

This isn’t a complete list. There are several packaged foods that are too high in carbs for keto. When in doubt, be sure to check the Nutrition Facts label.

Grains

  • Bread: 13 grams per slice
  • Pasta: 40 grams per cup, cooked
  • Crackers: 18 grams per half cup
  • Rice: 22 grams per half cup
  • Oatmeal: 23 grams per cup
  • Quinoa: 29 grams per cup
  • Flour tortillas: 20 grams per medium tortilla

Dairy

  • Milk: 11 grams per cup
  • Ice cream: 34 grams per cup
  • Flavored yogurt: 17 grams per cup
  • Starchy Vegetables
  • Corn: 24 grams per cup
  • Corn tortillas: 9 grams per tortilla
  • Potatoes: 32 grams per medium potato
  • Sweet potatoes: 26 grams per medium potato
  • Butternut squash: 9 grams per half cup
  • Acorn squash: 12 grams per half cup

Sugary Fruits

  • Apples: 19 grams per medium apple
  • Bananas: 24 grams per medium banana
  • Kiwis: 8 grams per kiwi
  • Pears: 18 grams per medium pear
  • Blueberries: 18 grams per cup
  • Grapes: 26 grams per cup
  • Oranges: 12 grams per medium orange

Sugary Beverages

  • Sugary sodas: 52 grams per 12 ounce can
  • Orange juice: 25 grams per cup
  • Apple juice: 27 grams per cup
  • Grape juice: 37 grams per cup
  • Sweetened tea: 48 grams per 20 ounce bottle
  • Chocolate milk: 24 grams per cup
  • Syrups, Jams, and Spreads
  • Pancake syrup: 27 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Maple syrup: 26 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Honey: 17 grams per tablespoon
  • Fruit jam/jelly/preserves: 13 grams per tablespoon
  • Chocolate hazelnut spread: 21 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Chocolate syrup: 24 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Agave syrup: 16 grams per tablespoon

Legumes

  • Black beans: 13 grams per half cup
  • Kidney beans: 14 grams per half cup
  • Lima beans: 12 grams per half cup
  • Pinto beans: 15 grams per half cup
  • Lentils: 14 grams per half cup
  • Chickpeas: 13 grams per half cup
  • Peas: 8 grams per half cup
  • Traditional Pastries and Sweets
  • Cake: 43 grams per slice
  • Cupcakes: 25 grams per cupcake
  • Muffins: 51 grams per medium muffin
  • Cookies: 11 grams per cookie
  • Chocolate candy bar: 31 grams per package
  • Fruit-flavored candy: 26 grams per package

Keto Food List Leaflet

Want to keep this list of keto foods as a handy reference guide on your phone, or in your kitchen? Enter your email below and we’ll send you a copy that’s ready to be saved or printed.

1 References

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central

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